Confession: I’ve never been to Indie Grits before. So, I’m excited to see what all the fuss is about. (Since it’s a 5-day film festival hosted by Cola’s indie movie house The Nick, you know it’s gotta be good.)
I’ve heard from people (over + over + over) that Indie Grits is best known for its blocks of short films. So, other than eating my weight in arepas, tacos, and black beans + rice, I’ll be vegging out in front of some really cool-sounding films.
Here are my top Indie Grits picks (out of the ~60 events over the 5-day fest) with pro tips straight from the horse’s mouth – a.k.a. Indie Grits organizers. (Thanks, y’all. Not calling you horses).
Thursday // April 20
📽 El Sur | 4:30 p.m. | Nickelodeon Theatre | $10 // Leave work early. You don’t have to tell me twice. El Sur is a block of six short films about the struggles + joys of the Latinx community (Latinx = a way to combine Latino + Latina). Pro tip: Pay extra attention to For Senator Graham, which documents the stories of local DACA recipients (undocumented, minority immigrants who have work permits + are deferred from deportation).
🌮 Noche de Visiones | 6-10 p.m. | 1600 block of Main St. | Free // Outdoor party with 1,000 people on Main Street. Curtis Harding (vibey, soul artist) and Lambchop (lo-fi, digitized sound) play live. Pro tip: Don’t forget cash for beer + food (especially for Jamine Santiago’s Cuban Specialities). And hit the after party at Main Street Public House ’til 2 a.m.
Friday // April 21
📽 Future Vision | 4:30-6 p.m. | Nickelodeon Theatre | $10 // Nine trippy, gripping + timely products from a new generation of filmmakers. Pro tip: Indie Grits curators tell us this is the quintessential Visiones block of films. No shrooms allowed.
📽 Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry | 7:10 p.m. | Nickelodeon Theatre | $10 // Organizers *always* pinpoint one classic Southern film for the festival that will sell out. This is that film. Pro tip: Rub elbows with filmmakers at the After Party at the Whig!!.
Saturday // April 22
🎨 Kindie Grits: Lucha Magic | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | The Big Apple | Free // Kids can create their own animated characters with the help of filmmakers, Indie Bits developers + the S.C. Gov School.
🌮 Food Truck Parranda | 12-5 p.m. | 1000 block of Hampton St. | Free // 10 of the best food trucks + carts serving Latin American food in Cola + live music. We’re counting down already. Pro tip: Get the tostones and Cuban sandwiches at Chazito’s Latin Cuisine, and pepiada at local Venezuela in One Bite.
Sunday // April 23
🌮 Sunday BBQ | 12-4 p.m. | The War Mouth | a la carte // Good ol’ fashioned parking lot cookout – in a real BBQ pit. Pro tip: Vegetarians should also come one, come all – Lamb’s Bread will serve their signature vegan barbecue.
📽 Winners Screenings | 6 p.m. + 8:30 p.m. | Nickelodeon Theatre | $10 // This film block is made up of all the winning films, voted by jurors + attendees. This is the best of the best of Indie Grits Visiones.
That’s a jam packed weekend, for sure. My excitement just quadrupled. ✔️ Main Street block party ✔️ Future Vision ✔️ A Portrait of Wendell Berry ✔️ Food trucks ✔️ Puppet slam ✔️ Every after party.